Well, I decided to start my noble hop beer. So, I grabbed the hop schedule recommended by the Sam Adams brewer I found online, slapped a simple grain/DME backbone on it, and away I went. I originally intended to do a 5 gal, but ultimately opted to cut this to a 2.4 batch. The only minor screw-up up front is that I am using Golden Light instead of Pilsen Light as I originally intended (because I grabbed the wrong one in my haste at the LHBS), but that's cool. It will be a bit darker than I intended, but still in the 7 range instead of in the threes or fours.
This is a bit pricey with the cost of a couple of these European hops, so I may try a cut with cheaper alternatives on the next go for comparison. Looking at $10 for the DME, $1.50 for the grains, $4 for the US-05 yeast, and about $14 for the hops, so nearly $30 for a small batch. Hmm....
Here's the final recipe...
Swen's Noble Ale ---------------- Style: Pale Ale Batch: 2.40 galExtract
Characteristics --------------- Recipe Gravity: 1.053 OG Recipe Bitterness: 35 IBU Recipe Color: 7° SRM Estimated FG: 1.013 Alcohol by Volume: 5.2% Alcohol by Weight: 4.1%
I thought I was going to do one of the beers I have queued up tonight, but decided at the last minute to do the mead instead. This may totally stink when complete, but here goes...
The honey ended up being free due to Kroger's policy to give the product free if you are overcharged (it was tagged on sale, but rang up full price)... Bonus! The frozen berries were on hand, as was the ginger, the hops, the corn sugar, and the wine yeast (most of the recipes called for champagne yeast, so I hope this yeast works out). The only outright purchase was $1 worth of lemongrass. So ROI on this brew is pretty darn good if it is good, and the loss is not much of anything if not...
I scaled down and modified to the ingredients on hand a Winner's Circle recipe to suit my needs. We'll see how it turns out. I don't know how accurate QBrew is with this type of concoction (the OG and FG in the book are wildly different, and the FG is listed in the book is below 1, but since I scaled down so much, and changed some ingredients, so no worries), and thus the characteristics may not be totally accurate...
Here's the recipe:
(Almost Free) Berry and Lemongrass Mead ---- Brewer: Swenocha Style: Spice, Herb or Vegetable Beer Batch: 1.00 gal
Characteristics --------------- Recipe Gravity: 1.095 OG Recipe Bitterness: 21 IBU Recipe Color: 3° SRM Estimated FG: 1.024 Alcohol by Volume: 9.2% Alcohol by Weight: 7.2%
Ingredients ----------- Corn Sugar 0.50 lb, Sugar, Other Honey 2.00 lb, Sugar, Other Raspberries. Blueberries, Blackberries (frozen)0.28 lb, Extract, Extract
Cascade 0.20 oz, Pellet, 60 minutes
Dry Wine Yeast 1.00 unit, Other, Ginger 0.20 oz, Other, add to hop boil Irish Moss 0.25 unit, Fining, add to hop boil Lemongrass 2.50 gram, Other, steep, strain, add after ferment
Notes ----- Recipe Notes: Bring honey and 1.25 gallon to boil. Add hops, ground ginger, irish moss. Boil 60 min. Add sugar late in boil. Remove from heat. Add fruit. Cool to room temp. Load in 1 gallon fermenter, pitch.
After primary fermentation, steep lemongrass in a small amount of water. Strain and add steep liquid to the fermenter.
Ferment for approx 3 weeks. Bottle and let set for 6 months.